The League and Synergent are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak closely and taking proactive measures to ensure the products and services your credit union depends on remain unaffected by any spread of the virus in our region. We also are equally committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families.
Based on reports from federal health officials, the virus is primarily being spread person to person in close contact via respiratory droplets (coughs and sneezes) but also may be spread through surface contact. People are most contagious when symptomatic, but the virus could be shared before symptoms appear.
What the League and Synergent Are Doing
The League and Synergent’s comprehensive Business Continuity Plan makes us well prepared for this type of event. Our companywide remote work capabilities are regularly tested, and our facility’s infection control measures are being ramped up in response to the threat of a large outbreak. We will be requiring symptomatic employees (and those living with people who are symptomatic) to stay home until they are over 24 hours symptom-free without medication. If necessary, we will be implementing social distancing and switching to conference bridges instead of face-to-face meetings. But to be clear, Synergent can remain fully functional with all but a few employees working remotely.
What Credit Unions Can Do
Of key concern to credit unions should be the health and wellness of their employees and members and the impact disruption of services may have on communities. We recommend our member credit unions review their Business Continuity Plans to reduce the likelihood of operations being significantly affected by a pandemic event. We also recommend you read NCUA’s Guidance on Pandemic Planning.
To help keep your credit union protected if a significant outbreak occurs in the region, we recommend the following:
- Encourage your employees and members to wash their hands frequently.
- Increase your internal supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, tissues, and cleaning wipes.
- Conduct extra cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and public space equipment.
- Implement social distancing to limit face-to-face contact in branches.
- Allow as many staff members as possible to work from home.
- Increase options to disburse staff, especially if some lobbies are closed.
- Direct branch traffic to drive-through lanes, close lobbies/branches if needed, and encourage alternate delivery channels (online, mobile, RDC).
- Notify employees of possible exposure if an employee is infected with the virus, and follow CDC guidance for conducting a risk assessment.
- Consider the impact a local school closure may have on your staff’s availability.
- Print and display the CDC’s handouts and posters.
Credit unions are trusted by its members and communities, and helping members through emergencies is a fundamental element of our core mission. If your credit union is planning to offer any special services such as skip payment options, emergency loans, financial donations, or other personalized solutions, please notify Jen Burke, League Public Affairs & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The League will help communicate what Maine credit unions are doing to assist their members.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to keep you updated as needed.